The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
The Serial of Shots
by Kai Wilson
Woozy, I blinked, and tried to raise my hands to shade my eyes.
Last thing I remember was lying on a sunkissed beach, enjoying the late afternoon sun, which, I thought was setting. My hen do was one of the few great thing in my life, and we’d all gone to the beach. The first day after lockdown lifted to boot, and we’d already had it planned. The tingle in my stomach, my upcoming wedding that was so precarious before now. We could do it. I distinctly remember calling my beloved, then…what? Falling asleep?
Now, my eyes were gummy, my head pounding, and I felt like I’d been lying on one hip – the numb, but still deep and glassy ache that said I’d been putting too much pressure on it bothered me.
Did I fall asleep? Oh god, the last thing I need, right now, is my hen night ending in an arrest. CAN you be arrested for falling asleep on the beach?
I was muzzy, so when my arm stopped with a jerk, I couldn’t really work out why. I pulled again, harder, maybe I’d caught my sleeve on the chair or something? Long, heavy sleeves. Silken against my tingling skin.
The same heaviness, all the way down my body, as if I was covered in a fine, heavy brocade. Did I get so drunk yesterday that I blacked out and I’m back at the hotel? My hair too, felt pinned, off my face, and up. How wild did we get last night? I thought.
“He…hello?” I stammered. My throat felt like it was dry. Sandpaper rough. My tounge three sizes too big for my mouth. It all reminded me of falling asleep on the beach, but why couldn’t I raise my arms? “Mari? Is that you?” Marisol, my roommate and maid of honour, shared our sumptuous hotel room. If I’d gotten back there, after a bender, maybe all I was reacting to was sunlight, and any minute, her sliver of laughter would illuminate the room. Clarify the situation.
The next time I pulled, more brightness flooded my eyes, and I realized I wasn’t lying on the lounger at the side of the pool. the floor beneath me – and it was floor – was chill and uncomfortable. I didn’t like the angle I was propped at either. “HEY!” I shouted, leaning down to wipe my crusted eyes, and blink them open. Slowly, my eyes focused, and the headache increased, but I was beginning to feel more. My hands were bound. Enough to raise to about decolletage level but no higher.
I feel like I’m lying at a slant. There’s gentle pressure on my feet, my ankles. But I feel ragdoll stiff and limp. The curl to wipe my eyes felt like a marathon.
More lights switch on, banks of them, and I recognize, with a jolt, a photography studio. The lights are too bright to see beyond the photographic stage, and I’m struggling to focus on the items scattered around my feet, but I’m almost positive that the lights are part of a studio setup. Confusion sweeps up me, with a tingle that could only be built by adrenaline, and my muscles slowly begin to start cooperating, though I’m still moving weakly.
“Don’t,” a voice suddenly says from one side of me, and before I know it, from directly behind me, I’m roughly grabbed, and pulled up, and somehow…hung. Propped with poles under my armpits. The angle isn’t so severe that the pressure is on my armpits, yet, but it’s not comfortable. But the rough, almost efficient intimacy of where hands grabbed tells me this isn’t something improvised.
“What are you….who….” I stammer. There’s only a low laugh behind me, a soft exhalation that I feel against my neck through material that I’m lying on.
“It’s not important. You’re not really going to be around to remember my name anyway,” he says. A negligent, matter of fact statement that sends a chill to my bones and I try to jolt off whatever he’s attaching me to. That split second though, he snaps something around each ankle, and I’m trapped.
“On either side of yon river lie…” he says softly. I blink. I know those words. “Long fields of…” He stops, as if the ‘of’ was a question.
“…barley, and of rye. They clothe the world, they meet the sky,”
“Ah. You know the modern version. Pity – you can’t be the Lady I seek. What a shame…”
A lightning sharp move in front of me, glint, flash and before I can even register the pain, I’m closing my eyes again, warmth spreading all over me. The last thing I hear, feel, is the flash. A lightning heat against my skin, a blinding push of light, and I’m gone.
Fiction © Copyright D. Kai Wilson-Viola
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
About Author Kai Wilson:
D Kai Wilson-Viola aka Kai, writes in all genres. She’s currently gearing up to release Lots of books, including some horror as Sabrann Curach. She is a tiny bit obsessed with serial killers, and this is the start of one of her next series…an amuse bouche of sorts. This story will continue in an upcoming book.
When not writing, she can be found gaming, taking part in Ludosport (lightsaber duelling and training) or taking photos with her family in the Cotswolds, where she lives.
Find Kai Wilson on Facebook!
Good job! It made me feel very uncomfortable!
I love allusions to classic legends – very nice.
Very creepy, an excellent story.